October 31, 2014

The Library of the Century | Design4Impact

HIGH TECH Computer training lab (l.) and children’s Promethean ActivTable (r.) at Pikes Peak

Library 21c, the Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) latest addition, is a centralized education and experimentation hub. The new two-story Colorado Springs library is the biggest building in the district, the second-largest in Colorado, supporting about 620,000 residents. Last year, the district had 3.6 million ­visitors. What makes this new library unique is the wide variety of opportunities under the same roof.

UpClose: Opening the Barn Door | Library by Design

UNLOCKING THE BARN DOOR (Clockwise, top l.) The café, study space, and exterior of England’s Cumbria barn blend traditional features with modern functionality

Two historical barns are transformed into modern libraries. One barn sits in Cumbria, England, a county once host to William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, and Arthur Ransome. Surrounded by the mountainous landscape of the UK’s largest national park, the traditional Cumbrian stone barn was constructed in Ambleside in 1929 by Charlotte Mason College.

A Local Library | Library by Design

TRADITION UPDATED The Gullah Geechee heritage collection (above) is encircled by woven wood. The columns outside the entryway (r.) evoke the island’s oak trees. The library’s design (inset) combines modern technology with natural materials

To walk into the St. Helena Public Library, SC, is to become immersed in contradiction. On the one hand, it’s modern—a 21st-century library guided by a Maker space philosophy, complete with 3-D printers, an animator, recording studio, littleBits and Makey Makey kits, and more state-of-the-art technology. Seamlessly coexisting with this sleek newness is a down-home Southern warmth and natural, earthy simplicity, with architectural details that embrace links to a unique culture with connections to West Africa.

Crossroads of Design | Library by Design

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In a time when the mission of libraries is rapidly evolving, how can we craft buildings that not only endure but thrive when meeting new challenges? This question underlined the learning at LJ’s Design Institute (DI) held May 16 in Salt Lake City. Presenters and peers asked attendees to redefine how they thought about sustainability, exploring the idea in terms of conserving energy and being environmentally responsible and looking at the sustainability of a building holistically—from how comfortable patrons and employees are to how the space can change to support new ventures, some of which designers and librarians might not have imagined yet.

Design Institute Design Challenges, Fall 2014 | Library by Design

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At LJ’s Design Institute: Salt Lake City, attendees in interactive brainstorming breakout sessions addressed design challenges posed by real life libraries in Texas, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

The Comeback Kids | Library by Design

STANDING STRONGER Birmingham’s Pratt City Branch came back from a 2011 tornado (inset) with an aerodynamic roofline built to channel winds and safeguard against future damage. Inside (bottom l.), computer stations (below) offer expanded capability after a tornado tore the roof off the building. Top photo by Chanda Temple/Birmingham PL; bottom photo by Melinda Shelton/Birmingham PL

Vision and determination are two of the qualities that various library leaders and architects around the country used to rebuild libraries demolished in a variety of natural disasters. A number of these libraries have emerged better connected to their communities and stronger than before.

What’s Hot: The latest in library products & furnishings | Library by Design

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New library products and furnishings for archival/preservation, automated materials handling, circulation, display, early learning, Maker spaces, outreach, printing and scanning, seating, security, self-service, shelving, signage, storage, tables and workstations, scheduling, wayfinding, and more.

UpClose: History, Updated | Library by Design

PERIOD DETAILS (Clockwise, from top l.): Updates like smoke detectors, fire-suppression heads, and security cameras are unobtrusive against the Frank Van Sloan mural in the memorial vestibule; newly uncovered floor tile in the circulation room; reference librarian Suzanne Grimshaw helps a customer in 
the Gillis Reading Room

After completing a complicated four-plus-year construction project, the Golden State is seeking silver this time—a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for its newly renovated Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, to be precise. The reopening celebration for the California State Library (CSL) was held in February and capped a remarkable collaborative effort led by California’s Department of General Services (DGS), landlords of the property.

UpClose: Designing 21st-Century Libraries | Library by Design

PERIOD DETAILS (Clockwise, from top l.): Updates like smoke detectors, fire-suppression heads, and security cameras are unobtrusive against the Frank Van Sloan mural in the memorial vestibule; newly uncovered floor tile in the circulation room; reference librarian Suzanne Grimshaw helps a customer in 
the Gillis Reading Room

Public libraries are busier and more popular with patrons than ever. Today’s library is a place for social interaction as well as quiet reading. It is a community cultural center, not simply a repository for books. It is a welcoming building with a design focus on transparency, not a series of isolated spaces. These changing operations directly affect the layout and organization of library buildings. So, libraries today must be designed to accommodate more simplified administrative operations and new staff functions.

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design

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Libraries that have recently undergone building projects feature design elements that enrich their style and speak to their patrons’ preferences. Choices including flexible shelving, lighting that doubles as artwork, and many distinctive seating options.